I fully agree. But that is only one definition of socialism, and for reasons of political convenience the one that is conveniently used as a strawman and scarecrow by Americans who distort the political discourse by equating all socialism with its more extreme and corrupt versions of it. Why, I wonder?
Why even you, who seem a level-headed and reasonable individual have not cared to actually do what I suggested and *actually* looked up what socialism entails on Wikipedia? I have not asked to read a 500 pages treatise, if people won't make even the bare minimum effort to inform themselves before they speak, what conversations can we have...
Anyone who is willing to get out of their head the Republican's propaganda and actually look things up would know that socialism is not just crazy absolutistic implementation (which btw are best called communism).
Instead, it includes many forms of social democracy and democratic socialism that are perfectly compatible with a sound, stable and happy civil society based on strong democratic principles and even with a regulated capitalism. These forms of socialism are far more democratic than the US bankrupt plutocracy will ever be. Many Northern European countries implement it and are *tremendously* more civil, more free, less exploitative, more educated, happier and more democratic than the US.
The choice is not between the exploitative, inhuman, predatory, undemocratic, kleptocratic, corporate plutocracy in the hands of billionaires that you have now and some tyrannical caricature of socialism that that same people use to scare you.
You have lived in many countries, why don't you try Denmark for a couple of years, and then you let me know how that goes :)